Support grows in legislature for new Indian Center

Acquire DigitalNews

A group of state lawmakers are forming a coalition of advocates for a budget amendment towards construction of a new $1.1 million Native American cultural and education center in Nashville.

The Native American Indian Association of Tennessee is proposing the Circle of Life Cultural Center to be used as a historical museum for local educators and as a headquarters where the nonprofit would run job assistance and emergency service programs.

“We’re in the phase of creating a team of legislators who will fight for this,” said State Rep. Glen Casada, R-Franklin. “Many of us want to make this work.”

The NAIA will hold its most visible event and largest fundraiser this weekend as more than 12,000 are expected for the 34th Annual Indian Education Pow Wow & Fall Festival Friday through Sunday at Long Hunter State Park.

Proceeds from the pow-wow go toward the Indian center itself and programs the NAIA supports.

About $300,000 has been raised for the Indian center and the nonprofit owns outright the six acres on Bell Road in Davidson County where it would be built.

NAIA Director Ray Emanuel has lobbied support for the Indian Center for years from both the state legislature and Metro Council. He is requesting $500,000 from the state legislature.

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